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IPCPR Day 4

July 21, 2015 · By · No Comments

It is sadly the last day here at the 2015 IPCPR.  We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we did a lot of different bodily functions.  The buyers have done a great job picking up the best products for our customers and ensuring they will be delivered to our warehouse promptly.  On this the final day, let us take a look at some more amazing products you can expect from JR Cigar.

LAtelier-La-Mission

La Mission du L’Atelier- Inspired by a famous French winery, Pete Johnson is rolling out another great smoke from L’Atelier Imports.  This year he is debuting the La Mission.  It is wrapped in a dark Mexican San Andres wrapper and includes the very limited Sancti Spiritus leaf, made famous by Pepin Garcia of My Father.  It is available in 3 different sizes that correspond to famous vintages from the winery: The 1959 (4 ¾ x52), the 1989 (5 5/8 x 54) and the 2009 (6 ½ x 52).  The MSRP will be $8, $9, and $10 respectively.  Be careful with the cork!!!

My_Father_El_Centurion_H.2K.CT_

My Father Centurion H-2K-CT- I know this cigar sounds like it has a government designation, but what it truly has is some amazing flavor.  It is the same filler and binder as the previous Centurion, but now with a unique and spicy new wrapper.  It’s a hybrid Habano wrapper that’s actually grown in Connecticut.  It truly shows you that not everything out of that state is light and creamy.  This cigar is medium to full with a great mix of spicy and sweet.  Its available in 2 box press vitolas: A corona for $7.10 and a Toro for $8.10.

1Murcielago-Cigar-Band_225

Murcielago By Erik Espinosa- My dear friend Erik is bring back an old favorite.  The Murcielago line was originally made by his previous company United tobacco.  He is now bringing it back with a vengeance.  It features a dark, oily, Mexican San Andres wrapper that’s exceedingly rich and flavorful.  Its filler and binder is made from choice Nicaraguan long filler tobaccos and of course it is all rolled at his La Zona factory in Esteli.  It will be available in 3 distinct sizes: the Noir (5 x 52), the La Lune (6 1/2 x 54) and the Nocturne (5 1/2 x 56).   Its time to let the bat out of the cave!

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No CommentsTags: cigars · L'Atelier · cigar news · cigar shows · Espinosa · IPCPR · My Father · new cigars

IPCPR Day 3

July 20, 2015 · By · No Comments

In my mind day three seemed to be the most important day of the show.  The glitz and glamour of the big manufacturers was fantastic, yet in terms of the cigars, well most of them have been announced for a few weeks now at least.  With all that hype behind them today was a big day for our buyers.  After sitting with PadronTatuaje, and Perdomo, let's see what they came up with!!

Padrón_Dámaso

Padron  Damaso- Last year, Padron spun heads at the trade show with the introduction of the 50th Anniversary and its corresponding humidor.  This year, in order to top that, they are thinking outside the box.  More specifically they are thinking outside the box press.  The Damaso is one of Padron's only rounded parejo shaped cigar.  What’s more unusual is it is the first Padron that comes in cellophane.  Yet the most surprising aspect of this cigar is it is the first Padron offered in a Connecticut seed wrapper.  It is a mild cigar with a light wrapper over vintage Nicaraguan filler.  It is offered in 4 sizes: No. 8 (5 1/2 x 46), No. 12 (5 x 50), No. 15 (6 x 52) and No. 17 (7 x 54).

Tatuaje-Verocu-No.3

Tatuaje Verocu- For those of you who are Tatuaje fans, you know the Verocu has been around for a few years.  Well this year not only did we acquire the original line, we also now have the new size, which launched this year.  This line was originally a limited extension of the Havana VI, but now is a stand-alone blend.  It uses a Nicaraguan Café Rosado Oscuro wrapper and a great blend of Nicaraguan long filler tobaccos.  The new size is known as the No.3 and is a 6 x 46 corona gorda.  The MSRP is going to be around $8.50

perdomospecialcraftposter

Perdomo Special Craft Series- Finally a company has made the perfect cigar for beer pairings.  Perdomo’s much anticipated Special Craft series has been the talk of the town for a long time, and now they are finally here.  There are 3 different wrappers that are made to pair with 3 different beers. The first is known as the Pilsner and it uses a creamy Connecticut wrapper.  Its made to pair with lighter beers such as pilsners or light lagers.  The Amber uses a Sun Grown wrapper from Condega and is best with pale ales, lagers, or ambers.  The last is known as the Stout.  It uses a dark maduro wrapper is paired best with stouts, porters, or brown ales.  The filler and binder on all three vary slightly but it is the wrappers that make these parings perfect.  All 3 will also be available in 4 sizes: a Robusto, an Epicure, a Churchill, and a Gordo.  The MSRP is $6.99, $7.50, $7.99, and $8.50 respectively.  Cheers!!

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No CommentsTags: cigar industry · cigar news · cigar shows · IPCPR · new cigars · Padron · Perdomo · Tatuaje

IPCPR Day 2

July 20, 2015 · By · No Comments

Another fantastic day here at the trade show.  Some of these booths are absolutely phenomenal and the cigars I’ve tried have been great!  Yesterday I had the pleasure of sitting down with Matt Booth of Room 101 for a few minutes, which is always a pleasure.  I then was invited to attend a special presentation by Rafael Nodal and his great Aging Room line.  You’ll be able to see portions of the presentation and my interviews later on, but I know what you want to know…what did we buy today?  Well today was all about Altadis, so lets see what we got!

espada

Montecristo Estoque- One of the many anticipated releases this year from Altadis U.S.A, they have taken their highly successful Espada and taken it to the next level.  The Estoque, named after the sword of the Spanish matadors, is bold and delicious.  It uses special upper priming Nicaraguan Cuban Seed Viso Jalapa wrapper.  Its binder and filler are select vintage Nicaraguan tobaccos, some dating back to 2002.  It's smooth, but with a great spice to it.  It is available in one size, the 6 x 50 and will MSRP for around $14.50.

 montecristo

Montecristo White Vintage Connecticut- If you think of the Montecristo White as the BMW of mild cigars... well it's time to meet the Bentley.  The White Vintage Connecticut is a superb mild to medium smoke.  Each box is hand painted with a very artistic rendering of a Connecticut tobacco barn.   It uses a 7-year-old Connecticut shade wrapper, along with a terrific blend of Dominican, Nicaraguan, and Peruvian tobaccos for the binder and filler.  It’s smooth and creamy with a hint of hazelnut and vanilla.  It will be available in 3 sizes: No.3(5 ½ x 44), the No.2 Belicoso(6 x 50), and the Double Corona(6 ¼ x 50).   The MSRP will be $10.50, $14.50, and $12.50, respectively.

henryclay

Henry Clay Tattoo- This is probably the cigar I was most excited for from Altadis.  Long time Henry Clay admirer Pete Johnson (yes from Tatuaje), has worked closely with the Grupo de Maestros to reinvent the brand. Enter, The Henry Clay Tattoo.  It’s a rich and dark smoke that uses a limited 2010 vintage Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.  Its binder and filler use vintage Dominican tobacco with a dash of 2-year-old Nicaraguan Criollo.  Even though the blend has changed, Pete has kept the tradition of the original Henry Clay alive.  It is available in 1 size; a 6 x 54 with a pigtail and the MSRP is around $9.50 a cigar.

 

H. Upmann Banker- It's time to make it rain, with the new and improved H. Upmann Banker.  After its release last year, this reinvigorated brand has spread across brick and mortar stores around the country.  What’s new about it this year is the addition of a new size, the Basis Point.  It’s the only Belicoso in the Banker line and is 6 x 52.  It uses the same great Ecuadorian Habano wrapper as the rest of the line as well as a terrific blend of vintage Dominican and Nicaraguan long filler tobaccos.   The MSRP will be around $8.30.  This is one banker that won’t hurt your wallet!

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No CommentsTags: Altadis USA · cigar industry · cigar news · cigar shows · H. Upmann · Henry Clay · IPCPR · Montecristo · new cigars

IPCPR Day 1

July 19, 2015 · By · No Comments

Yes my friends, it is the first day of the 2015 International Premium Cigars and Pipe Retailer trade show.  IPCPR is the oldest and largest organization that represents tobacco retailers.  Their tradeshow has been occurring once a year for over 8 decades and has become the ultimate event for tobacco buyers.  This is the time where all of the manufacturers lay out their newest lines for that year.  Think of it as a smoking New York Auto Show. It is like Christmas for members of the cigar industry. Everyone is so excited to see the new products and to show off their new toys, it is a terrific blend of business and pleasure.  One of the greatest characteristics of the show is that it is closed off to ordinary consumers.  It is strictly for retailers and manufacturers.  This makes this event a very coveted occasion and a sort of dream for me for a number of years.  Today was my first day on the floor of the show and I was like a kid in a candy store.  I couldn’t stop from gazing at the amazing setups of some of these cigar giants like DavidoffPadron, and Fuente.  Some of these booths are extremely luxurious and showy in order to draw in new clients.  However, it takes more than just a flashy booth to make an impression at this event.  You need to have an outstanding product at a good price and that’s available for retailers as soon as possible.  Let's take a look at some of the new products our buying department has picked up so far.

 

Davidoff-Escurio-Tubos

  • Davidoff Escurio- This cigar is one of the most anticipated releases of the year.  The Davidoff Escurio will join their black labeled cigars such as the Davidoff Nicaraguan, which was the talk of the town last year.  It’s a medium to full bodied cigar and uses a very bold blend of tobaccos.  Its dark oily wrapper is an Ecuadorian Habano.  It's wrapped around a delicious Brazilian criollo seed binder and vintage Dominican and Brazilian long filler.  The name Escurio is meant to evoke the emotion of a night in Rio.  It is the first Davidoff to utilize Brazilian tobacco.  It will be offered in three sizes: A petite Robusto, a Robusto, and a Gran Toro. The MSRP will be $8.50, $15.95, and $17.90 respectively.

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  • Caldwell Cigars Blind Man's Bluff- It has been a huge year for Robert Caldwell.  Since last year's show, his brand has blossomed into one of the most sought after boutique cigars on the market.  He enters this year with a new line titled Blind Man's Bluff. What’s unique about this smoke is it was crafted in Honduras at the Agroindustrias Laepe S.A., the same factory as the famed Camacho. They utilize an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, a Honduran Criollo binder, and a blend of aged Dominican, Criollo, and Honduran ligero long filler.  It will be available in 3 sizes: a Robusto, a toro, and a 6x60.  The MSRP is $7.50, $8.50, and $9.50 respectively.  Coming off of a recent 91 rating in Cigar Aficionado magazine, let's see how this new smoke holds up.

futurologo

  • Futuro by Warped and Casa Fernandez- Kyle Gellis is the new young prince of the cigar world.  He debuted at last year's trade show and has taken the industry by storm.  This year, he is debuting a new project with which he collaborated with Casa Fernandez. It has a Nicaraguan corojo 99 wrapper, a criollo 98 binder and a mix of corojo 99 and 98 long filler.  Expect it to be quite spicy but with that usual smooth floral taste of a Warped.  It is available in 2 sizes: The Seleccion 109 which is a 6 x 52 and the Seleccion Supreme which is a 5 5/8 x 46.  The MSRP is in the $9.00 range.  I am very excited so see the combination of these two great companies.

La-Imperiosa-Vitolas

  • La Imperiosa – By Crowned Heads Get ready for an amazing cigar that’s now in a new package.  The highly successful release of the Las Calaveras EL 2014 from Crowned Heads has made them determined to make that blend into a regular production line.  Enter the La Imperiosa.  It uses the same great Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper and vintage Nicaraguan long filler as its predecessor.  It will be sold in 4 different sizes: Corona Gorda (5 3/4 x 46), Magicos (4 1/2 x 52), Double Robusto (6 3/8 x 50) and Dukes (5 1/2 x 54).  MSRP will be between $8.25 to $9.75.  Its back baby!
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No CommentsTags: Caldwell · Casa Fernandez · Crowned Heads · cigar industry · cigar news · cigar shows · Davidoff · IPCPR · new cigars · Warped

Kick Off

January 27, 2015 · By · No Comments

In addition to the Super Bowl this week, there is another kick off of sorts.  It is the first tobacco show of the year.  Held in Vegas it is Tobacco Plus Expo and mostly geared to small stores and convenience shops.  There will be some premium cigars there, but my guess is there will be a lot of vaping stuff as well and I mean a lot.  It will be interesting to see the mood of the show and see what the year may have in store.

Cloudy New Orleans

At least this first show is not in doubt. The big one is.  Last week, the New Orleans City council passed a smoking ban.   This is a cause of concern because New Orleans is set to host the annual cigar trade show this summer.  If it were my decision, I’d move it.  Why should tobacconists give New Orleans ANY money?  But the IPCPR says on its Facebook page

This legislation passed unanimously with favorable amendments. As amended, the legislation will not impact the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailer Association's (IPCPR) local members or our 83rd Annual Convention & International Trade Show. The ability to smoke in cigar bars, the convention center, and in facilities being used for private events is protected by the amendment.

The favorable amendments are a handful of exemptions that could easily be taken away.  The big one is that it allows smoking at the trade show on the floor. The IPCPR is playing for a tie not a win.  Glynn Loope of the Cigar Rights of America isn’t buying it.  He says this smoking ban is a first step and he realizes the other side goes for incrementalism.  In 2007, Louisiana passed a state wide smoking ban for restaurants and many workplaces but exemptions were made for Casinos and bars.  Now, New Orleans is taking those exemptions away. 

The original city legislation had it so you couldn’t smoke within 25 feet of a door, but that was lowered to 5 feet when the council figured out that would effectively ban smoking on Bourbon Street.  (By the way this goes into effect AFTER Mardi Gras.)

As for enforcement, it won’t be the cops giving tickets as originally planned. They already have their hands full. With Mardi Gras coming up the locals are worried about crime.  In the French Quarter, there are signs telling people to travel in large groups because of the city’s violence.  The NOPD is understaffed.

The force has lost about 500 officers since Katrina struck in 2005 and it is now down to about 1,150 — far fewer than the 1,600 that Landrieu would like. As few as 250 officers were found to be on patrol duty and responding to calls for help in May 2013, a city inspector general report found last May.

"I have been to some roll calls where there is one cop, two cops," said Michael Glasser, president of the Police Association of New Orleans, a police union.

The Mayor, Mitch Landrieu, wanted the council to delay action so his office could study the issue.  They didn’t want to wait.

Harrah’s tried to tell the council that they were looking at a 20 percent drop in revenues because of the casino smoking ban.  The supporters say the ban will bring more business to the casinos. They always say that.  In December, the Louisiana State Police, which oversees gambling, projected a $104-million dollar loss due to a smoking ban.  I hope this goes like Atlantic City where similar arguments were made and ignored.  When Atlantic City banned smoking in casinos, it lasted about a week once the city saw the revenue drop.

Says Glynn Loope, “every job that is lost in New Orleans lies at the feet of Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell who pushed this bill.”

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No CommentsTags: cigar industry · cigar laws · cigar news · IPCPR

IPCPR Moving

January 23, 2015 · By · No Comments

The International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association is moving to Washington.  For many years, the IPCPR operated out of Columbus, Georgia which had a low overhead, but made for wicked commutes to DC to fight legislation in Congress.  So about a year ago, the organization decided it was time to move up.  A building was found on Capitol Hill, a short walk from the legislators and work has begun to make the building a home for the group.  The IPCPR hopes to move in sometime this summer. 

The reactions are pretty positive.  Jim Young, president of Davidoff North America says he is thrilled that the IPCPR will now be on the front line of fighting federal legislation.  The CEO of the IPCPR says that the new headquarters will enable the organization to house its staff in one locale to provide better service.  (Right now the IPCPR has staff in 5 states.)

One question is will people be able to smoke in the new DC headquarters.  Tobacco shops are exempt, but the IPCPR is not a tobacco shop.

  The law requires the employer to generally prohibit smoking in the enclosed area of a place of employment[xii], but the employer may permit smoking in an outdoor area under his or her control, subject to the terms and conditions of the lease or contract between the owner and the tenant.

I’m sure they will work on it.

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No CommentsTags: cigar laws · cigar news · IPCPR

Good News Bad News

January 15, 2015 · By · No Comments

In Nebraska, it was thought that smoking in the state’s cigar bars would end with the dawn of the New Year.  Last year, that state’s supreme court ruled that the exemption for cigar bars to the state’s non-smoking law was not legal.  That meant that all the cigar bars would have to ban smoking beginning this year.  Well red tape seems to be our friend.

“A bunch of steps in the administrative procedures act has to be taken in order to implement this matter,” Nebraska Liquor Control Commission chairman Bob Batt said.

“Anytime you get anything affecting the status of your license, it would stand to reason that you are given the opportunity for an appeal process,” Safari Cigars and Lounge attorney Bill McGinn said. “We're assuming that's what will happen here.”

In the meantime, supporters of the cigar bars are introducing new legislation to allow them to stay open.

State Sen. Tyson Larson of O’Neill submitted a bill Friday that would restore smoking in cigar bars and tobacco shops.

Let’s hope the legislature moves quickly on this. 

Meanwhile, in New Orleans let’s hope thing go slowly.  The city council there is getting ready to vote on a smoking ban for the city.  There is opposition but last week a committee voted 3-2 to proceed.  According to reports the ordinance may have enough support to pass.  That would be a major bummer for the IPCPR that is planning on holding its trade show in the Crescent City this summer.

Cantrell’s ordinance would make it illegal to smoke, with a few exceptions, in all enclosed public spaces, private clubs, correctional facilities and school buildings in the city. Smoking also would be prohibited in parks during public events sponsored by the city and outdoors within 25 feet of public property and within 5 feet of commercial buildings.

Cantrell revised her original ordinance to remove a prohibition on smoking at all public events and in the common areas of apartment buildings, retirement homes and nursing facilities.

The ordinance that will go before the council also includes a provision that would grandfather in existing cigar and hookah bars — businesses with the sole purpose of selling smoking devices and providing a place for them to be used.

It could make it a very unfriendly venue for the trade show.

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No CommentsTags: cigar laws · cigar life · IPCPR

NOLA smoking

September 26, 2014 · By · No Comments

The IPCPR has said next year’s convention will be in New Orleans.   New Orleans has been a rather friendly city for smokers, but by the time the convention rolls around, maybe not so much. City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell recently pushed for a smoke-free week in the crescent city and plans to go further with some help from her anti-tobacco friends…

Statewide Healthier Air for All Campaign under the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL). TFL has led the charge in Baton Rouge to push for statewide bans on smoking in bars, though that legislation has failed. But several cities and parishes have recently adopted their own legislation to prohibit smoking in barrooms. Mirroring recent laws in Alexandria, Monroe, West Monroe and all of Ouachita Parish, this fall Cantrell plans to introduce legislation to make New Orleans bars and public buildings smoke-free.

So a tobacco convention is set to spend many bucks in New Orleans next summer and the council wants to ban smoking.  That should work out well.

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No CommentsTags: cigar industry · IPCPR

Camacho

August 21, 2014 · By · No Comments

Camacho Ecuador

One of the newer things at the Davidoff booth was the recently released Camacho Ecuador. The cigar with the blue band and box actually came out just before the show, but it was prominently featured at the booth.  The new Camacho uses a Habano seed grown in Ecuador for its wrapper with a Brazilian Mata Fina binder and high priming Honduran tobaccos along with Pelo de Oro ligero from the Dominican Republic for fillers.  It comes in 5 sizes from a 5” x 50 Robusto to a 6” 60 Gordo and prices start just under $7.

Davidoff also continued the Camacho Liberty Series for 2014, which also uses the Habano Ecuadoran wrapper but it is from 2005.  This cigar contains a 2006 Corojo binder and fillers from both the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.  It is only one size, 11/18 and comes in 20 count boxes with a total production of only 2,000 boxes.  They retail for $17 each.

Another addition to the Camacho line is the Double Shock.  The logo for this cigar is the rare double-tailed scorpion.  Davidoff says this barber pole type of cigar was made in the Danli factory with tobaccos from 5 different countries. The wrappers are, again, the Ecuadoran Habano but paired with a dark San Andres leaf creating the barber pole effect.  The binder is Criollo and the fillers are from the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Pennsylvania.  The double shock is limited to 1,000 boxes of each size.  They come in three sizes, Toro, Figurado and Gordo and the retail is from $11.50 to $13.  They should hit store shelves in October.

Finally, part of the Camacho “Board of the Bold” is Hollywood writer, producer and director Rob Weiss.  He is best known for the HBO series Entourage.  Weiss now has partnered with Camacho and Davidoff to form the B.G. Meyer Company and has released a couple of cigars.  The first line is the Standard Issue, which uses Nicaraguan tobaccos made at AgroIndustrias Laepe S.A. in Danli—the old Camacho and now Davidoff factory.  It comes in five sizes, again from the 5” x 50 Robusto to a 6” x 60 Gordo.  Prices are from $8-10.  The second cigar is called Slackers which is a smaller stick being sold in 4 packs. Whereas the Standard Issue is medium to full, Slackers is more on the mild side with an Ecuadoran Connecticut wrapper, Dominican binder and fillers.  Cost will be about $4 each.

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No CommentsTags: Camacho · Davidoff · IPCPR · new cigars

More from the IPCPR: Prohibition

July 31, 2014 · By · No Comments

Rocky Patel  is launching several new lines.  The Super Ligero is an amped up stick which uses a Habano St. Augustin wrapper with a special hybrid called super ligero and double ligero.  Coming in four sizes from a lancero up to a sixty ring gauge the price is $7-$8.  The company also is launching a Cameroon version of the Decade.  Same blend as the regular Decade just with a Cameroon wrapper.  It will come in three sizes and will run $9.75 to $11.25.  He also has Catch 22, a line without his name on the brand.  This is a value play with pricing starting at $4.50 for a Rothschild up to $5.50 for a 6” x 60.

Rocky Patel Prohibition

Probably the most fun and politically incorrect launch is Prohibition.  The cigars are packed in mason jars, 16 to a jar and come in a crate.  If you have seen Boardwalk Empire, think about how the booze was smuggled into the U-S during Prohibition.  Says Rocky, “ With the current atmosphere against tobacco we are probably heading towards a time of Prohibition again, so I wanted to make a statement and I hope get people fired up about working to stop this proposed control by the FDA.”

The cigars in the jars have either a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper or Mexican San Andres.  The binder is Brazilian Matafina and the filler is all Nicaraguan.  They are one size 6.5” x 52 and will retail for $8. 

Rocky also is making a bigger Edge…the 7” x 70 Howitzer in both Corojo and Maduro.  It will retail for $10.

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No CommentsTags: IPCPR · new cigars